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Old 08-02-2010, 10:33 AM   #15
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I agree with the other posters here, it is very unusual and possibly dangerous to have both lines of a 50A service wired to the same phase. Ampacity of a single 6AWG wire is 60A ("enclosed", which means in conduit or a part of a cable).

If you can find your breaker (both the local and sub-panel), can you determine the size and whether it is single pole or double pole? Note the current is dictated by the smallest breaker in the circuit.

If it is 30A or less dual pole, or 50A or less single pole, it is wired safely (as far as neutral current is concerned) though it still may not be NEC compliant.

If it is 50A double pole, it unsafe as it most likely will allow 100A neutral current on your shore power cord and coach wiring. If this is the case, I'd definitely bring it up to campground management.

Also, if your coach has an Energy Management System it will detect this connection as 30A and not let you run over 30A anyway. It looks at the voltage from line to line and if it sees approximately 240V it decides the feed is 50A, otherwise it decides it is 30 (or 20A if you press the button).

In any case you are not getting your money's worth if you paid extra for the 50A site.


Stewart, Brenda and kids
2008 Newmar Canyon Star 3410
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:22 AM   #16
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The two major problems this situation can cause is a low voltage condition throughout the park and the possibility of an electrical outage because of an overloaded distribution transformer feeding the park. This is a situation where a good surge protection device is worth its weight in gold.

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Old 08-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #17
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I don't see any violation of the NEC. The power available for the outlet is simply less than a standard 50A RV outlet, but it doesn't violate any code as long as the wire gauge and circuit breakers are consistent with the power provided, the ground is proper, etc.

We don't know that every outlet in the park is fed off the same phase. The OP merely stated that all outlets appeared to be wired the same way, i.e. no 240V. The park is likely using all of the phases from its power source, feeding one site from one side and the next from the other, or some such load balancing arrangement. Just as they would do with 30A service. I've worked in a lot of RV parks and seen/repaired more than a little campground wiring - power distribution balancing is a routine matter.

As to whether you have a right to expect full 50A/240V service in a campground that provides a 50A RV outlet at the site, I'll let the lawyers figure that out.
Gary Brinck
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:25 PM   #18
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The shore power box at each site is the standard type with 20a, 30a, and 50a outlets. The 50a has a double throw 50a breaker.

My Winnebago OEM EMS system sees the power as 50a ...has the 50a input light lit and does not display total amps being used. My TRC SurgeGuard shows two normal power legs.

At the moment we are running the dual compressor basement AC and the Norcold 1200 refrigerator. Total amps there should be apx 24a. We also are running the Splendide dryer. I don't know how many more amps that adds but I would guess around 10. I was running the dryer on a separate cord (previously run under a cabinet and out through the water bay when we were on a 30a connection) connected to the 20a outlet in the shore power box but it triped the GFCI in the shore power box a couple of times, so I plugged the dryer back into it's normal outlet which is wired to the second leg of the 50a, as also is the second ac compressor. When I put my hand on the 50a plug at the power box, it is a little warm to the touch, but not much.

I have a digital line meter in an outlet in the galley and it has maintained very good voltage ...115v and above ...regardless of what we have run, so sagging voltage does not appear to be a problem.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:26 PM   #19
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What probably happened in this case is the electrician spliced a length of wire off the existing 30 amp conductor, probably in the bottom of the pedestal or in a nearby splice box, and run the second live conductor to the other side of the receptacle. If you question the owner further, you will probably discover they didn't upgrade the existing wiring. So the best scenario is that the load of a second air conditioner of each RV has been added to the existing 30 amp live conductor. Normal residential voltage is 120 volts +/- 5%(126 volts-114 volts). This is set by and depends on the DPU, PUC, Electric Co-op or what ever is the governing body in your state that controls the transmission and distribution of power. This may vary from state to state but only by a couple of volts each way. So your 115 volts is not too far from being considered low voltage. The type of loads most affected by and likely to be damaged by low voltage are inductive loads or motor loads, which are you air conditioners.

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